Because, after all, it’s an everything in between kind of day, n’est pas?
Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?
Sam and I live in a small condominium community. We rent our condo from a lovely woman, who has owned it for over twenty years. We rented it originally out of desperation, needing a place to move to post-haste, and moved ourselves right into a small retirement village. As Sam noted when we first moved in, for the first time in our lives people looked at us with that “Now the neighborhood is going to hell” glint in their eyes. At any rate. We didn’t move this spring out of sheer complacency, which is regrettable. Regrettable (1.) because living this far from work and commuting does not line up with how we like to think of ourselves. We feel this kind of commute is immoral – bad for the city, bad for the environment, bad for community participation – a recent study showed that for every ten minutes commuting, an HOUR of community participation is sacrificed. But in May when we had to renew our lease Sam had finals and I was receiving my MFA and in the midst of all that paper work we took the easy way out. It’s regrettable (2.) because all of our neighbors are avid gardeners – Sam refers this as the Senior Gardening Explosion. So all the little plots around all the little condos (with our the notable exception) are veritable works of art – climbing roses, ivy, blooming bushes, African violets, and…marigolds. Marigolds, to which I am hideously, horribly allergic. I forgot about this allergy because in Pittsburgh there are no flowers (okay, not really. But I lived in an apartment building in the city so I wasn’t in close proximity to any). Our neighbor Joyce has planted only marigolds, and now my eyes are all closed up and red, I have cluster headaches on the left side of my face, I’m sneezing constantly and I have a rash EVERYWHERE. I do not like taking allergy medicine because I feel the drowsly, nearly-stoned feeling it generates is not worth it, and so I soldier on, bravely – wearing my glasses instead of my contacts and itching my stomach compulsively for who knows how long. I thought about asking Joyce to remove her marigolds but really, she spent so much money on them! And she is extremely proud of her flowers, and spends hours with them every day. All that said…my practicality has finally trumped my vanity and I am wondering around in my glasses for the first time in a decade, and haven’t turned anyone to stone yet.
Everything In Between
Last night at the Tiger’s game we sat in between the most interesting mixture of people. Directly behind us sat a father and three of his (adult) sons. The father kept gazing around the (jam-packed) ball park and saying “It’s so nice to see such a full park. It’s just, so nice to see.” His sons continually agreed with him, and got up often to get their father hotdogs, beer and soft pretzels. To our right was the World’s Quietest Family – a mom, a dad, a daughter and two sons, all who watched the game silently, never speaking to one another or to those surrounding them, even when Gomez hit a home run. I mean, not a word. I considered this bizarre – Sam considered the children well-behaved. I see visions of parenting disagreements. To our left sat the most unhappy, professional couple I’ve seen in a long time. Both wore their work clothes to the game, and they sat as far away from each other as possible. The woman kept trying to sneak smokes and kept getting caught and the man just stared at the game, every so often trying to introduce conversation with her, which she kept shutting down. In front of us sat a bank of 30+ year old men, and I can only assume they were single because they didn’t once watch the game but instead spent the hours text messaging people NOT with them and then loudly sharing responses from girls who texted them back.
When the Astros sent in a relief pitcher for Clemens everybody stood up and clapped. Jaded as I am with too many American football games, I said to Sam:
“Why are they all clapping when every one here came to see him pitch? It’s rude!”
Sam said “They are clapping out of respect for him because he pitched an exceptional game.” So, there’s that. Baseball – the gentleman’s sport.
Granholm FINALLY launched her ad campaign against Dick DeVos this week, but this morning I read that DeVos had a personal fortune worth millions and intends to continually spend his own money on this campaign. Since Granholm’s campaign funds will never match DeVos’s fortune, I’m growing more and more worried. Surely we are too smart to allow the rich whims of a former Amway exec to buy us? But then again, I thought that during the presidential elections as well.
I wish you could have been with us in Detroit last night! Fireworks exploded over the city after the game, music boomed across the sky, and revelers flooded the streets. Strangers hugged each other. Greektown sparkled in haze of pink and yellow glitter; the air smelled like lamb and garlic and beer and pastry. It’s not your old Detroit anymore, and to that end I’ll be introducing an occasional category that discusses Detroit history, as I embark on researching my new book. We’ll look at the architecture, the landmarks, the music, the autoindustry, the Jesuit community, the history of white flight, the rise of the drug trade, relationships with Canada, etc. Don’t worry – I’ll clearly label the subject line in case you want to skip these posts.
On the Nightstand
Still reading War and Remembrance but will take a break for the next week since I’m going on vacation – Sam and I are going to the library tonight to pick up some fun vacation reading…I plan to fall into some mysteries, myself. For Sam, ‘fun’ reading probably means a few biographies.
If one more conservative Christian group comes along to decry the new HPV vaccine I’m going to lose my mind. I mean, don’t get the vaccine if you feel uncertain about its effect on the body, I totally get that, but the argument that it will encourage young girls to be sexually active just isn’t plausible. I mean, with so much to worry about regarding our daughters, sisters and friends, shouldn’t we take this one small thing of a very long list?
The Northern Woods
According to an OpEd piece in the Detroit Free Press this week, if the federal courts allow environmentalists to ‘win’ the war on the Au Sable, which means Savoy Energy won’t be able to drill for natural gas around the Mason Tract, environmentalist will be granted too much power and, I quote, “given their way on everything.” This from the paper that didn’t publish my letter to the editor! I reported on this drilling issue three years ago, and I’ve been following it closely ever since. I love how environmentalist has suddenly become a dirty word – people say it much the same way they’d say pornographer. So far these greedy people have some how managed to keep Savoy from tearing up what should be federally protected land which proves that some times, the small guys do win.
Last night Sam saw his hero pitch in a baseball game and I saw so many shades of the boy he must have been – my husband, the man who hates to have a hair out of place, who can’t stand a dish in the sink, well, he hooted and he hollered and he stamped his feet and he shouted “Let’s go, Tigers!” and he rattled his keys and he high-fived complete strangers…he exulted.
50,000 Iraqui’s dead – the latest report shows. And yet our media continually replays Bush’s public chastisement of the New York Times instead of reporting on this. Make of that what you will.
Time for a Hundred Visions and Revisions
I was going to do a little blurb on writing but this post has gone on far to long and I have too much work to do, so let’s just say that I’ve decided to take all of you along with me on my newest project, which is a significant immersion into Detroit. I hope you’ll come with me.
You Love is Like Bad Poetry
I apologize…I have no poetry for you today. I have to wait for the muse of bad poetry to strike. Take a raincheck?